But let’s be honest—what you snack on makes all the difference between “good idea” and “what are you thinking?” Not all snacks are created equal. Your best bet is to nibble on nutritionally balanced 100 to 200-calorie snacks that contain some carbs, protein and healthy fats.
And if you’re typically out and about, portable snacks rock. Here are some easy ideas for eating healthy on the go.
Greek yogurt. Mix plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit to add several grams of fiber for a fraction of the sugar you’ll find in flavored varieties, which can contain as much as 20 g of sugar per 6-ounce serving. You’ll get a whopping 14 g of protein in a serving of Greek yogurt, more than twice what you’ll get from other types of yogurt. Click here to print a coupon for greek yogurt.
A boiled egg. At only about 70 calories, an egg is a protein-rich, low-calorie bite. The yoke is high in choline, which may lower cardiovascular disease and breast cancer risk, and also contains leutine, which promotes eye health. Boil a bunch at the beginning of the week and have plenty for snacking on throughout.
Chocolate milk. A little carton of chocolate milk is a perfect post-workout snack because of its mix of protein, carbs, sugar, nutrients and electrolytes. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research indicated that athletes who drank low-fat chocolate milk following exercise had improved training times, more muscle, and less fat than those who stuck with typical sports drinks.
Individual-size cheese (1 ounce) with fruit. A baggie filled with frozen grapes paired with a portion of string cheese makes for a protein-filled, sweet afternoon snack—much better than the empty calories you’ll find in most vending machine options.
Whole-wheat tortilla and hummus roll-up. Slather hummus on a tortilla, roll it up, and you’ll be on your way with a fiber-rich snack. The first ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which provide fiber and a little protein.
Ever find yourself rushed for breakfast? These next options make for both great snacking and a healthy way to start your morning.
Peanut butter waffle. Instead of dousing a whole-grain or bran toaster waffle in syrup, cut the sugar and boost the protein and fiber by spreading it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Save $0.75 with this peanut butter coupon now. You can also sprinkle on raisins, sesame seeds or extra peanuts for even more fiber, which helps deliver the meal’s nutrients slowly and steadily.
A cereal “parfait.” A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups) with 8 ounces of low-fat milk may be nearly the perfect breakfast. Make it portable by replacing the milk with lemon or vanilla yogurt and mixing it in a to-go container. Increase the fiber and vitamins by adding ¼ cup of nuts or fresh or dried fruit, like chopped pecans or blueberries.
Egg McMuffin. We’re not kidding. If you must eat fast food in the morning, opt for an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s. At 300 calories, it won’t blow your calorie budget for the day. Plus it has a good amount of lean protein from the egg and the Canadian bacon. If you want to trim calories, remove the top half of the muffin. For additional fiber, grab an apple on your way out of the house.